Omidubicel Increases Availability of Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant

Chenyu Lin, MD, discusses the significance of a 10-year follow up of a study of patients who underwent allogeneic stem cell transplant with the novel cell therapy omidubicel.

Chenyu Lin, MD, hematology/oncology fellow at the Duke Cancer Institute, discusses the significance of a 10-year follow up of a study of patients who underwent allogeneic stem cell transplant (ASCT) with the novel cell therapy omidubicel.

Finding an unrelated donor for ASCT is a major challenge for many patients, especially those in some ethnic minorities that are underrepresented in donor populations. Lin says this makes alternative stem cell sources critical.

The cell therapy omidubicel, a hematopoietic stem cell graft derived from umbilical cord blood, has shown efficacy over standard myeloablative umbilical cord blood in a phase 3 trial (NCT02730299), and the FDA has granted a priority review for its approval in patients with hematologic malignancies in need of ASCT.

A study Lin took part in at Duke Cancer Institute showed favorable long-term survival and manageable rates of graft-vs-host disease with omidubicel. Lin says this study shows the potential of cord blood expansion therapies to address the needs of patients with no adequate donor available, which will improve outcomes for patients as ASCT is the only curative therapy for many hematologic malignancies.

TRANSCRIPTION:

0:08 | With ASCT, one of the challenges is finding a donor. And we've been able to increase the diversity of our stem cell registries in the past decade. But there's still some healthcare disparities present in terms of being able to find an optimal match, [for an] unrelated donor. For an individual of Northern European descent, that's relatively easier. But for certain underrepresented ethnic and racial minority groups, the rates of being able to find an optimal match is much lower.

So this is where an alternative stem cell source like cord blood can come in. The hope—with the long-term safety data being reassuring for omidubicel—the hope is that we're going to be able to expand access to stem cell transplantation for patients who otherwise would not have an adequate donor, but who are nonetheless reliant on transplant as the only curative therapy for the disease, and especially for many racial and ethnic minority groups who may have a harder time finding a traditional donor. So I think it's an exciting time for cord expansion, and omidubicel is leading the way for potentially paradigm-shifting developments in the field.